Giannis Antetokounmpo: Superstar recruited Bobby Portis to re-sign

Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

It cannot be overstated just how wild of a ride it has been for Bobby Portis in the last calendar year or so. After not having his former team, the New York Knicks, not invited to participate in the NBA Bubble in Orlando to winning an NBA championship and being one of the most beloved players on the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s been a bit of a fairy tale run for the man now known as the “People’s Champ” and it continued when he re-signed with the Bucks for what many considered to be less than he could have gotten on the open market.

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Portis did a mini sit-down interview with The Athletic’s Shams Charania to discuss just how crazy it has been for Portis since coming to the Bucks. In the interview, Charania reiterates that Portis received interest from teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, but chose to stay with the team he won the championship with. Throughout the interview, Portis talks about his love for the city of Milwaukee, how much they’ve embraced him, and vice-versa.

The biggest nugget though came when Charania revealed that Giannis Antetokounmpo apparently reached out to Portis multiple times and try to convince him to re-sign with the Bucks after Portis being the one reaching out to Antetokounmpo the last offseason to join him. Portis gave some insight as to what those conversations were like.

"The biggest thing for him [Antetokounmpo], you know, is always family first and do the best thing for your family. That’s one thing he’s always tried to instill in his teammates. He’s a hell of a leader, man. He’s always tried to instill that to take care of your family, but he does want me to stick around and be around with him for the long haul.So to have a guy like Giannis call me and wanting me to stay and emphasizing it almost everyday after the season. I think the first thing he said when we won the championship is that he said to [Bucks general manager] Jon Horst ‘You need to sign Bobby back.’ So for me to hear that, it’s just great."

Giannis Antetokounmpo recruiting Bobby Portis reinforces his value to the Milwaukee Bucks

It’s not only great for Portis to hear that Antetokounmpo was so invested in Portis’ return to the Bucks, but it’s also great for fans to know that Portis is seen as a valuable member of the team after the season he had.

In the same interview with Charania, Portis talked about playing through the series against the Brooklyn Nets where he received multiple DNP-CD’s by the end of the series. Although it may have been hard for some, Portis said that it was easy for him to stay locked in during that time because of the highs and lows that he has experienced through his NBA career already.

As we all know now, Portis became a very important part of the Bucks’ championship run in the final two rounds against the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns. In those 12 games, Portis averaged nearly 20 minutes per game and put up 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game to help the Bucks reach their ultimate goal of winning a title.

Portis had a career year with the Bucks but also fit in well with Antetokounmpo. In 541 minutes, the combo of Portis and Antetokounmpo posted a +11.1 net rating together during the regular season and that number increased to a +13.7 net rating in 180 playoff minutes, per It’s clear those two already have great chemistry with one another and Antetokounmpo wanted it to continue for more than one season.

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Portis averaged 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in almost 21 minutes per game with the Bucks last season, shooting a career-high 47.1 percent from 3 point range.